It is the beginning of a long summer for the Burroughs High girls’ basketball team.
The Indians began their campaign with games Friday and Saturday and opened their own Burroughs Summer League Tuesday.
Burroughs will play close to 50 games during its summer, as coach Vicky Oganyan looks to give her team as much competition as possible.
In the first game of their own weekly event, the Indians were tested and seemed to come out with a good grade from their coach. Freshman Sydney Martin sank a basket with three seconds left to lift Burroughs to a 29-28 victory against Alhambra.
“We try and play all kinds of competition during our summer,” said Oganyan, whose squad went 17-12 and 8-4 to tie for second place in the Pacific League during the 2016-17 season. “We will play against teams that are physical, teams that play zone, teams that press. It’s good not only for the newcomers, but for the returning players who are only going to get better with all the competition.
“We have done this for a number of years now and I think we are a better team because of it when we start our regular season.”
The Indians, who lost six seniors to graduation, fought back in the closing moments against Alhambra to earn the victory at home.
“The funny thing is that we’ve played games already, but we haven’t had a practice yet,” Oganyan said. “So I’m really waiting for that first practice so I can actually teach something.
“I like this group. I like the incoming players and I like the returners that we have. I think we’re going to be alright, there is just a lot of teaching that has to be done. In this win, I thought we played hard.”
Burroughs was paced by Asia Morales, who had a team-high seven points.
The teams had problems scoring in the first 20-minute half, played with a running clock, as Burroughs went into the break with a 10-9 advantage.
Things remained tight in the second half. With the scored knotted at 14, Alhambra scored a three-pointer with 14:53 remaining to take a 17-14 lead.
The Indians were able to stay close to the Moors down the stretch and went ahead, 27-24, on a three-pointer by Nicole Rumfola with 58 seconds remaining. But Alhambra battled back, going ahead, 28-27, after a basket with 13 seconds left.
After a timeout, Burroughs pushed up the ball upcourt with time running out. Camryn Lotka dribbled the ball and found Martin in the lane. Lotka got Martin the ball over the top and she put up a layup that dropped after bouncing on the rim.
“I knew the pressure was on me because that was a good pass and if that pass doesn’t happen we would have probably lost,” Martin said. “And I also could have missed it.
“When I took the shot, I was watching it. I thought it was going to come out, but it went back in. It was just a great feeling when it went in.”
Freshman Dyani Del Castillo had some key rebounds in the final two minutes to help Burroughs retain several possessions.
“We tried to speed the game up in the second half my pressing more,” Oganyan said. “I thought that helped. We also stopped fouling in the second half. In the first half, [Alhambra] had nine points and I think seven of those came on free throws.”